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 Foreword from Councillor Blake Pain 
 Lead member for the Environment and the Green Agenda

We have worked hard to improve biodiversity, boost wildlife, and encourage pollinators across the county. Through our Leicestershire Urban Verge Wildlife Initiative, we have been appointed by Defra as one of 26 national Bees’ Needs Champions Award winners. This is a great achievement by the team at Leicestershire County Council and everyone involved including NatureSpot.

We are also proud to be supporting sustainable energy efficiency measures as part of a Home Upgrade Grant scheme. In partnership with Green Living Leicestershire, we are able to support people in reducing energy bills and limit carbon emissions.

In July, we introduced parish councils, community groups and residents to an easy-to-use Net Zero Toolkit. The online resource developed by the Green Living Leicestershire Partnership is a step in the right direction, supporting communities in achieving our ambitious goal of being a net zero county by 2045.

There’s plenty more to read about in our autumn edition – including reducing Halloween waste, longer life for our clothing and designing an orchard workshop and our BetterPoints rewards scheme.


 Don't Cause a Bincident 


Every year, fire and rescue services have to attend at least 300 significant fires at recycling and waste management facilities across England. However, the total number of smaller un-reported fire incidents occurring across the sector is estimated to be significantly higher than this, since hundreds of fires are extinguished by operators before the need to call the emergency services. 

Members of the public can help to reduce these risks by disposing of flammable items responsibly. There are a few items that are commonly misplaced in rubbish and recycling bins in Leicestershire that are the main causes of fires. These include: 

Prevent recycling and waste fires

 Ash dieback: What is it and how can you spot the symptoms?

Ash dieback: What is it and how can you spot the symptoms?

 Recycle week 2023


Recycle Week 2023 will take place on 16 – 22 October 2023 and will be themed around ‘The Big Recycling Hunt’. 

The week will focus on bringing attention to the recyclable items in the home which are typically missed out of household recycling bins. More information to follow soon. 

Find out how to recycle right



 The things we do at Halloween can generate extra waste; pumpkin carving, costumes, and decorations. But there are still loads of ways to have fun without being wasteful, and with a bit of pre-planning there are ways to save cash too. We’ve come up with a few tips to help you kick start your low-waste Halloween celebrations.

Halloween waste

  Longer life for our clothing 


Buying clothes doesn’t mean having to buy them new. The latest research into the longevity of clothing in the UK shows that when we buy preloved and second-hand vintage, we tend to keep these items for longer than those we purchase new: apparently, nearly a year and a half longer at 5.4 years compared to 4 years for off the peg. Repairing clothes was also found to extend the life of an item by a further 1.3 years.  

There are lots of shops and online sites selling preloved and vintage clothing, and at a fraction of the price of buying new.  

You could even get them for free by swapping with a friend, family member, acquaintance, or at an organised event in the community. The term ‘swishing’ is frequently used for swapping clothes, shoes, or accessories, and often without having to exchange money. See our Swishing Toolkit | LessWaste for guidance on running swishing events.  

Keeping our clothes in use for just nine months longer can reduce the carbon, water, and waste footprints of an item by 20-30%. Not just good for our pocket, but good for the planet too! 

click here for top tips on making the most of your clothes

 SHIRE Environment Grant  


A further round of the SHIRE Environment Grant is now open for applications.  

Grants of up to £2,500 will be available and there is also a simplified application process for small grants of up to £300. The deadline for applications is Friday 1 Dec 2023.  

Before completing the application form please read the guidance notes as they contain important details about the criteria for funding, along with the council’s process for awarding funds.  

We have arranged the following workshop sessions, which provide an opportunity for you to discuss your project ideas and to help with queries in completing the application:  

  • Waste workshop – Friday 20 October - 10.30am - 11.30am 

  • Biodiversity drop-in session – Friday 27 October – 10am - 11am 

  • SHIRE Environment Grants drop-in session – Friday 3 November – 10am - 11am 

If you have any additional queries about the grant fund criteria or process please contact the SHIRE Environment Grants Team using the following email: or call 0116 305 7005. 

Find out more

 National award for wildlife verges project 


The Leicestershire Urban Verge Wildlife Initiative is a county wide partnership project, led by Leicestershire County Council and supported by local wildlife recording charity NatureSpot.

The project gives parish councils and associated community groups the opportunity to take over the management of selected verges in their area, in order to improve them for wildlife. 

Over 60 parish councils are now involved in the initiative, as we approach the third year of the project, often with several verges being managed within each parish.  

The success of the scheme in boosting wildlife habitats and encouraging pollinators including bees, butterflies and moths, has now been recognised by DEFRA, which has named Leicestershire’s Urban Verge Wildlife Initiative as one of 26 national Bees’ Needs Champions Award winners, in the Community Champions category. The awards recognise and celebrate examples of exceptional initiatives undertaken to help our declining pollinators.  

Find out more here

How to join our award-winning wildlife verges project for 2024 


Due to the continued success and popularity of the project, we will be taking ‘Expressions of Interest’ for parishes wishing to join the scheme ahead of 2024.

If you are interested in finding out more about the scheme and to register your interest, please email:

Please note, that for verges to qualify for the scheme, mandatory Health and Safety site visits will be undertaken to ensure highway user safety is maintained at all times, as well as a series of verge suitability checks.  

Expressions of Interest will close Sat 30 September 2023, 7pm. 

For more general info about the project

Local Nature Recovery Strategy 

Our Environment team would like to  highlight the launch of the development of a Local Nature Recovery Strategy for Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland. Further details on what this means and how you can get involved can be found below

What is a Local Nature Recovery Strategy?

Designing an Orchard


Leicestershire County Council are running a workshop for all those interested in planting orchards. The workshop covers many aspects to be considered and factsheets will be provided for you to take away. 

The workshop is scheduled for Friday 15 September, from 9.30am (teas and coffees on arrival), for a 10am start, until 12 midday when lunch will be provided. There are 20 places for participants. 

It will be an opportunity to meet others with similar aspirations, as well as taking away useful information. The workshop will be held at Beaumanor Hall and is entirely indoors but if you wish to explore the grounds of the Hall after the session, sturdy shoes are advisable. 

Parking is free and buses from Loughborough and Leicester stop at the top of the Beaumanor Hall driveway.  

Interested participants can email:  

Are you part of a community group, parish council or school?

Why not apply for a free packs of fruit trees and use them to plant new orchards, more information can be found below.

Community orchards
Find out more about the venue here

 BetterPoints rewards programme continues


The Choose How You Move Rewards Programme, powered by BetterPoints, goes from strength to strength. As we begin the sixth year of partnership, last year’s results show some superb progress by our amazing Leicester and Leicestershire users. 

We have just over 5000 active users, all of them busy earning redeemable points for completing active and sustainable journeys. Of the 930 000 such journeys recorded last year, 586 000 replaced single occupancy car journeys and 206 tonnes of CO2 was mitigated. 

Want to join our BetterPoints community? Sign up for free and start rewarding yourself for making sustainable travel choices. 

Click here for more info
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